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Thursday, 12 March 2009
Page: 2564


Mr DANBY (9:33 AM) —It is with great pleasure that I can report to the parliament that the Australian National Academy of Music has a new program for 2009. After the cathartic events of late last year, ANAM is going to greater heights than before. Last year the future of ANAM seemed clouded, but the academy’s expectations now look bright under artistic director Brett Dean. The Australian National Academy of Music, based in the old South Melbourne Town Hall, is the only national arts institution based in Melbourne. It trains and encourages graduates of conservatories around the country to make a transition to the standard of performance appropriate for orchestras.

ANAM has a new board chaired by Mr Ian McRae, who is also Chairman of the Australian Ballet School and a Director of the Melbourne Recital Centre, the Malthouse Theatre and the Bangarra Dance Theatre. I certainly hope that Mr McRae will have sufficient time to devote to ANAM,  given recent events in the past. We really need to make sure the board is fully seized of ANAM’s potential opportunities. The new board also includes the Arts Victoria Director, Penny Hutchinson, the chair of the university’s steering group for its new music conservatorium, Professor Barry Sheehan, and the university’s Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Professor Warren Bebbington. ANAM is now a subsidiary of Melbourne University, and its funding of $2.5 million has been retained. It will remain in the wonderful old South Melbourne Town Hall building, which not only gives it a classical aura, but also means the great amount of money spent by the former Keating government on all of the musical equipment and sound rooms in the building continue to be used.

This year’s program includes work from the Artistic Director of the Australian Chamber Orchestra, Richard Tognetti, who will be putting on a great performance on Friday week. The Chief Conductor of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Oleg Caetani, will direct the Australian premiere of the prize-winning violin concerto The Lost Art of Letter Writing, with Christian Winter as the soloist, in November. Brett Dean is also proud that ANAM will have one of the hottest properties in classical music in Europe and the United States, conductor Daniel Harding, making his only Australian appearance at ANAM this year. ANAM will perform three concerts during the Melbourne International Arts Festival in October at St Patrick’s Cathedral, programs inspired by Haydn’s The Seven Last Words of Christ on the Cross.

It is the anniversary year of both Haydn and Mendelssohn and both will feature in ANAM’s year-long program, as well as contemporary composer Gyorgy Ligeti. More unusual components include a cabaret performance, Meow Meow, and jazz pianist Paul Grabowsky as well as the great Joe Chindamo. ANAM has been re-established for a successful program in 2009. My personal pleasure at this prospect pales by comparison to the great public good served by its resurrection. (Time expired)